Valley of Flowers National Park is known for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers and the variety of flora. It was declared in 1982 with the highest point in the national park being Gauri Parbat at 6719 mtr. Unknown to humans, for centuries this enchanting valley lay frozen during the colder months, and burst into its youthful beauty every year, as the snow melted with the advent of summer. Every year, the valley was splashed with color as it bloomed with hundreds of kinds of flowers, taking on various shades of colors as months progressed. Finally one day, nature condescended to bless humans with this heavenly sight, when Frank Smith - mountaineer, explorer, botanist - chanced upon it in the monsoon of 1931. He authored a book called "The Valley of Flowers" which unveiled the beauty and floral splendours of the valley and made the world sit up and watch. The locals, of course, always knew of the existence of the valley, and believed that it was inhabited by fairies.
This richly diverse area is also home to rare and endangered animals, including the Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, musk deer, brown bear, red fox, and blue sheep. Birds found include Himalayan Monal Pheasant and other high altitude birds.
At and average height of 3600 meters above sea level, the gentle landscape of the Valley of Flowers National Park complements the rugged mountain wilderness of Nanda Devi National Park to the east. Together they encompass a unique transition zone between the mountain ranges of the Zanskar and Great Himalaya. The park stretches over an expanse of 87.50 km² and it is about 8 k.m. long and 2 k.m. wide. Both parks are encompassed in the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve (223,674 hactare) which is further surrounded by a buffer zone (5,148.57 km²). This Reserve is in the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves since 2004.
The Valley of Flowers National park remains open for visitors from 1st June to 31st October. The best time to visit Valley of Flowers is during July, August and September. Tourists are not allowed to stay in the Valley of Flowers and therefore there is no accommodation in the Park. You can stay at private lodges and hotels in Ghangaria, the base camp for your trek to the Valley of Flowers.
Valley of Flowers is connected upto Govind Ghat with motorable roads and from here you have to commence trek of 16 kms to reach Valley of Flowers. Buses and Taxis to Govindghat are easily available from Rishikesh.
The nearest railway station to Valley of flowers is Rishikesh which is situated 273 kms away from Govindghat. Rishikesh is well connected by railway networks with major destinations of India. From here one can reach Govindghat through buses or taxi and thereafter on foot.
Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun is the nearest Airport to Valley of Flowers. Govindghat is situated at a distance of 292 kms from Jolly Grant Airport. From here one can reach Govindghat through buses or taxi and thereafter on foot.